Wina Says She Will Not Retire Next Year, I Have Energy To Contribute To National Growth

VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina will not retire from active politics next year because she still has energy to continue contributing to the country’s development. Mrs Wina, Zambia’s first female Vice-President, said there is no retirement or age limit in politics. She was speaking to journalists at her office yesterday. “I have told my friends that there is no retirement in politics, there is no retirement age and I will continue. “I feel that I still have some energy to contribute to the development of my country, and to also ensure that my party (Patriotic Front) is strengthened through the little contribution I can make,” Mrs Wina said.

The Vice-President also said she will participate in the PF elective conference which will take place from July 10 to 12 this year at Mulungushi Rock of Authority in Kabwe. And Mrs Wina is worried that women are not given enough space on the political arena by their political parties. “When there is a position and there are five men and a woman who have applied, a woman is left out. When you ask why, we are told that she is not marketable,” she said. Mrs Wina urged women interested in contesting next year’s general elections to start positioning themselves so that they can be adopted by their political parties.

She said women should not wait until the last minute to start selling themselves in constituencies where they want to stand as Members of Parliament. “Women should not think that they can get things on a silver platter. You have to fight for a position. Even as I hold this position [Vice-President], I am judged differently and I know that if it was a man, the yardstick would have been different,” Mrs Wina said.

She said women are better leaders because they are caregivers who understand everyday challenges. Mrs Wina also said the International Women’s Day, which falls on Sunday, rekindles ideas of what it is like to be a woman and should be celebrated by all women. She thanked President Edgar Lungu for opening windows to enable women to aspire for leadership positions. On human rights violation, Mrs Wina is concerned that most women and children’s rights are being violated in the country.

She cited the recent incident in Kitwe where a woman assaulted her step-son for getting home late as a case in point. “Girls being married off at an early age is also another issue we need to address,” Mrs Wina said. She also urged married couples to dialogue when they have differences to avoid fights which sometimes result in death. “If there is a rift in a home, it will go down to the children,” Mrs Wina said. She called for the protection of journalists during the course of their duties, especially during elections. “Time has come to appreciate the role of journalists and how they are exposing issues. How can anyone know what is going on without journalists? You need our protection as journalists,” Mrs Wina said.